S33 (7) 8 – The Rings of Akhaten

Home Forums Episodes The Eleventh Doctor S33 (7) 8 – The Rings of Akhaten

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    TheatreGuy @theatreguy

    Hi all,

    Manic week but thought I’d post something before tonight’s episode. On second viewing I thought it was a good character driven episode, let down only by the odd pacing. It certainly didn’t the vitriol it’s received from other quarters.

    One thing that struck me on second viewing was that the car that nearly knocked Clara’s father down was spookily similar to the one that killed Rose’s Dad in ‘Father’s Day’. I found a picture comparing the two – is there a way of uploading images on here? Anyway it’s quite striking how similar they are.

    thommck @thommck

    @bluesqueakpup & @theatrguy


    So is the car just a liitle in-joke or is there more to it?


    what would be the consequences of the dad not dying? Wouldn’t those time-dragon things have come and tidied it all up?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @thommck – that’s why I’m thinking ‘Time Lord interference’. We know (Waters of Mars) that Time Lords can change the time line of the ‘little people’. So a Time Lord would know enough to select a perfectly unimportant bloke from Bolton-le-Sands (not in the script, it’s where the actor’s from) who gets killed in an accident and then not have him killed.

    Pete Tyler’s death couldn’t be altered; but they ret-conned that later – he wasn’t ‘a perfectly unimportant bloke’. As we see in the alternate time-line, he was someone who would have had a major effect on the world – had he lived.

    So my guess is that they’ve used the same model and colour of car to hint that this was indeed a pivotal event. Either time has just been changed so that Dad can be Clara’s Dad – or something was trying to kill Dad before he could be Clara’s Dad.

    Or, as per my bonkers theory that Clara is adopted, he got dragged out of the path of the car because Clara really ought to have a Dad, and he was a good choice. It allowed Clara to be inserted into the time-line in a way that didn’t affect or change anyone else’s life; except in a good way.

    HaveYouFedTheFish @haveyoufedthefish

    @theatreguy – you can’t upload, and unfortunately can’t embed images either …

    Best you can do is link I’m afraid: http://www.flickfilosopher.com/flickfilos/art/dwfathersdayrings.jpg

    Its the same make and colour, but not the same model (one’s a viva, one’s a cavalier). They would be roughly the same age in the time frame they appear in (if that makes sense)

    TheatreGuy @theatreguy

    Thanks HaveYouFedTheFish – this was the image I found so interesting

    TheatreGuy @theatreguy

    Grrrr it didn’t work – maybe this link would be better http://www.flickfilosopher.com/blog/2013/04/doctor_who_thing_is_there_a_co.html



    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    Lindalee’s thoughts on Rings of Akhaten below because I know she has many fans on this board.

    She’s really enthusiastic about this one.

    ardaraith @ardaraith

    @phaseshift , “I want those for MY birthday!”  🙂

    Slightly off-topic, but I watched a portion of SITL last night and found the Doctor’s phrasing in the line about his name more than a little odd. He tells River, “there’s only one reason I would ever tell anyone my name.  there’s only one time I could.”

    When I originally viewed this ep, I thought the line just referred to a marriage tradition, or something.  Like, maybe on Gallifrey given names are formal and only used for a particular ceremony.  But watching this segment last night it seemed much more ominous!  There is only 1 time the Doctor can, or is able, to share his name with anyone.  And maybe this is why River apologises so profusely.  By revealing to the Doctor that he shared his name, it gives him foreknowledge that this dreaded event does indeed happen sometime in his near future.

    chickenelly @chickenelly

    …aaaah just got back indoors after an afternoon toddling about in, what the media & weather people were exclaiming would be, the first proper day of spring.  Needless to say it was p***ing it down and freezing.

    Putting my fourpenneth in, I’m thinking that the car will not make a reappearance.  Yes, it did borrow heavily from the ‘Father’s Day’ vehicle, but that was a reference for the Who audience to emphasise the importance of the leaf event.

    However, having written the above it does occur to me that there may be reverse echoes (if such a thing exists) with Rose:

    1) Mother is dead, as opposed to father

    2) Clara says to the Doctor ‘Run, etc’, whilst as someone else on the blog pointed out that the Doctor’s first words to Rose was ‘Run’.

    3) The car not mowing down Clara’s pop, but running down Rose’s dad

    4) Rose willingly eating alien food in the ‘Long Game’, Clara turning up her nose at it in this episode.



    HaveYouFedTheFish @haveyoufedthefish

    @ardaraith – exactly! I think the “name when marrying” was a clever misdirection fuelled by audience expectation. But think about rivers reaction for a sec … “I’m so, so sorry [but we get hitched at some point in the future]”. Bit of an over reaction, surely? It certainly doesn’t sound like such a bad fate to me … If anything, in fact I’d be tempted to think “bloody hell, way hay. Lucks changed a bit”, frankly.

    So yeah I think you’re spot on. I think to have revealed his name at all, to anyone, even River is to reveal his big secret, who he really is, and possibly that means the end of his life, either literally or at least the life of wandering he’s made for himself (hence reboot is therefore made imperative, and hences the gushing condolence from River)

    Lula @lula

    @ardaraith @haveyoufedthefish —I’ve always assumed the Doctor told River his name just before he “died” in Let’s Kill Hitler.  I found the,”Oh, I’m sure she knows” line to be misdirection, because most people assumed he whispered his love for her in that moment.  And maybe he did–“My name is ___________ and I love/trust you…”  It had to be something pretty important in order for River to give up her remaining regenerations to save him.

    The other theory is that she knows his name because it’s written on his cot in A Good Man Goes To War.  My only problem with that is if his name is indeed such an enormous secret, it wouldn’t be carved into the cot for others to translate.  BUT…Alex Kingston did say in Confidential, “It is the Doctor’s cot, but who else has shared it?  How many babies have slept in there?”  We know the Doctor slept there, obviously.  And we know Baby Melody (well, Flesh Melody, if we’re being specific) was in it for a few brief moments.  Kingston seemed to be implying that she may know more about the Doctor and River’s story.  And maybe that story is carved into the cot–their “family tree,” so to speak.

    Just my take on the whole name scenario.

    And most of y’all have seen Cold War already, so I’ll continue to be jealous over here in Virginia, as I have six more hours to wait.


    HaveYouFedTheFish @haveyoufedthefish

    @lula – well to be fair we’ve no idea what’s written on the cot, even if it’s his name, it could be *a* name but not *the* name, if you see what I mean.

    Good point about the doc telling her something significant in LKH – but his name doesn’t seem a compelling reason for her to give up near immortality for … Does it?

    Anyway even if he did, doesnt change my hypothesis: back in SITL, the doc had no way of knowing the circumstances of his name getting out, but River being at the end of her timeline knows that it eventually does become public (even if she personally knew it already from LKH, and we’ve yet to see the great “unveiling”). So her ott commiseration still makes sense.

    Lula @lula

    @haveyoufedthefish —Oh, I completely agree with you.  Were I part Time Lord I wouldn’t give away my remaining regenerations on some dude who uses his “dying” breath to tell me either his name or, “I’m gonna marry you one day!” or, “Eventually I’m going to love you a whole lot.”  My response would be, “Oh, so you’re really gonna wait till these last seconds to get all serious with me?  NOPE.”  I would make said dude WORK for my healing powers.  But I’m an aging southern belle and while we’re known for our manners and gentility, the older I get the more I throw decorum out the window, so…there you go.

    After we saw the misdirection in TWoRS, I just figured the only time he could tell anyone his name would be on his deathbed.  LKH was kind of his deathbed.  For about 30 seconds, at least.  She’d be able to tell him in the Library, “Right before you died, you told me your name.” Of course I’ll probably change my opinion on all of this after the S7 finale airs…


    HaveYouFedTheFish @haveyoufedthefish

    @lula – ah OK good point; that would give a different context to the Docs reply, “there’s only one way you could possibly know that”.

    But it doesn’t explain the commiseration from River since she knows he survives, and to imply and let him think anything otherwise is surely unbelievably cruel (even to unequivocally gain his trust)?

    WhoHar @whohar

    Maybe River realised she couldn’t tell him. Major Spoilers and all that.

    Hmm Major Spoilers – I can imagine him / her working for UNIT.

    Rob @rob


    “I did tease him a bit though by suggesting he was getting closer to adding an “S” to his name.”


    Well you’ve alread done that with thapostrophe 😉


    Slightly more seriously the sun facreminded me of a text smiley,  and  the taking of all memories was very facebookish,

    So a continuation of the internet as a big bad?


    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    I rewatched this recently. Once you know that a lot of the aliens were concept designs accumulated over the life of the show, it can be interesting to see if you can work out what episodes/species they were for.

    One that really interested me though was in the Market place, and I wondered if it was a concept for the Ice Warriors before they went for CGI in the end. It’s the mouth that tends to make me think this. I tried a couple of screen grabs and an edit to show what I meant (thanks for @craig for the upload).

    thommck @thommck

    It could be, @PaseShift. I think I prefer the non-CGI version. It looks more Martian IMHO

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @phaseshift – yes, it could be. You’re right – there’s something about the mouth and the nasal structure that are very reminiscent of each other. But like @thommck, I’m glad they went for the CGI version in the end; it was distinctly creepy.

    thommck @thommck

    @bluesqueakpip I said I prefered the NON-cgi one! Although the CGI one looks more menacing, I also think it was too reptilian, like a dinosaur or Silurian. The real one looks more alien

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @thommck – Ice Warriors are supposed to look reptillian. The original design was based vaguely around crocodiles.

    Sorry for the misreading: I’m having one of my bad reading days.

    FandomCarzy @fandomcarzy

    what i don’t get (and maybe it has been mentioned before) is don’t the angels feed of the should have been( potential energy) and if there is an infinity of it, wouldn’t they have enough?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @fandomcarzy – Hi and welcome, but, wrong thread? There are no Weeping Angels in Rings of Akhaten.

    Did you mean to post in the Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone thread or the Angels Take Manhattan thread?

    FandomCarzy @fandomcarzy

    @bluesqueakpip no i meant this thread, because the doctor says that there is an infinity of should have been, which is what the angels feed of. dont they?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @fandomcarzy – sorry, I’m dyslexic. It would be really helpful if you could include capital letters when you post – they give me a lot of clues about meaning.

    Okay, so you meant that in this episode, the Grandfather God feeds off all the ‘might have been’s and never were’s’. And he’s fed an infinity of them, which leads to him choking.

    What he’s feeding off, in Rings of Akhaten, is memories which are important to people. That’s seen throughout the episode. What Clara gives him is her memory – but of all the things that never happened, because her mother died young. It’s a memory, it’s important to her – but it’s infinite in scope.

    What the Angels feed off is temporal energy – time energy. It’s not the person’s memories, it’s the time energy from the future that they never used up (because they were shoved backwards in time).

    So the answer is ‘no’, because the Angels don’t feed off the same kind of energy as the Grandfather God. Bit like the difference between a gas cooker and an electric cooker, really. An infinite supply of electricity really isn’t going to help you with the gas cooker. 🙂

    Cyberlord @cyberlord

    CYBER-REPORT: The alien from the market is used as an ice warrior in one of the ‘Time Zone’ playsets.

    Also, what is the meaning of the huge beetle?

    Kharis @kharis

    @ardaraith @bluesqueakpip I think the weight of the statement “only one time that I could” and how much grievance River is clearly going through reminding him, is due to his name being the password, or key, to bringing back the Time Lords in TtotD. He was supposed to die in the Time War, the Time War that would kill millions and turn the town of Christmas into the fiery world of Tranzalore, graveyard of the Doctor.  He didn’t die or bring back the Time War, due to Clara, who River was there to encourage to jump into his time stream.  River would know about the Time War, since that was what she was trained to do “stop the endless, bitter war.”

    Kharis @kharis

    @lula Also loved this episode.  I think it was a very poignant and moving episode and in my top ten.

    Critics are often annoying; they are often too caught up in looking intellectual or cool, plus they forget their opinion is just that – an opinion, not truth.

    I once read a critic slaming ‘Day of the Doctor’ while praising ’42’ and ‘Mummy on the Orient Express’ as classic cliff hanging Who?  I couldn’t agree less.  After that I decided Doctor Who is amazing because there is something for everyone and a Doctor for everyone.  I don’t believe in a best episode or best Doctor.

    gamergirlavatar @gamergirlavatar

    I think that this episode was ( as number ten would say ) brilliant in showing Claras time line and personality in a way that scares me and makes me wonder . Clara existing because of a leaf falling at the right time and place is heartwarming . When she gave up the leaf saying that it wasn’t just something that happen but was a whole new story that could have happen , leaving her to never exist it made me think ” what if that didn’t happen ? What if one little thing changed forever leaving time to be rewritten ?” From the point that the leaf started to grow to Claras future in series nine her time line has become more and more like silk in a spider web . Her time stretches out , bends , and branches out into a home and a life . Clara personality shined in this episode even though you wouldn’t know the full story till ” The Name of The Doctor ” .

    amyisalive @amyisalive

    This episode was a big let down

    gallifrey.governess @gallifrey-governess

    I may be sentimental but I love the fact that the Doctor refused to use Amy’s glasses as payment for the moped. Although there was a temporary sadness that Clara had use her mother’s ring, I think it is brilliant that the writers used that to display how much Amy and Rory meant to the Doctor. Also, she got the ring back so no harm no foul.

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